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Birmingham Trucking Accident Lawyers
The moments after a truck accident can be confusing, and you may not know where to turn. A study by the American Association for Justice found that more than 28,000 motor carrier companies have violated federal safety regulations.
A truck accident can happen on any road, highway, or interstate. Because of their great size and weight, commercial trucks and tractor-trailers can cause catastrophic damage to smaller passenger cars in a trucking accident. Victims of truck accidents can suffer from serious injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, head, and neck injuries, burn injuries, and even death.
When to Get an Attorney for a Truck Accident
Our trucking accident lawyers have a combined 60+ years of experience in representing victims of truck accidents. Our truck injury lawyers are familiar and experienced with the specific rules and regulations that distinguish trucking collision cases from other motor vehicle collision cases. We are well-versed in both the local and federal laws that govern commercial truck operators.
In a truck accident case, our legal team will conduct extensive investigations into the cause of the accident, search for any violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) that may have contributed to the truck crash, analyze the truck driver’s driving history, investigate the truck owner’s hiring and safety practices, and examine the commercial vehicle for any malfunctions.
Causes of Trucking Accidents
Many factors can contribute to a truck accident, such as driver fatigue, driver distraction, weather conditions, speeding, failure to maintain proper control of the truck, and over-loading.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provides safety regulations for truck size and weight and driver behavior. However, the American Association for Justice found that more than 28,000 motor carrier companies have violated federal safety regulations, putting other motorists on the road at risk. The Alabama Department of Public Safety latest report shows over 10,000 truck-related accidents occur annually on the public roads of Alabama resulting in over 2,500 injuries and over 135 fatalities.
What to Do if Hit by 18-Wheeler
If you are in an accident with an 18-wheeler, there are certain steps that should be taken if possible:
Seek medical attention as soon as possible and whenever necessary. Even if you do not immediately feel like you have sustained any injuries, sometimes the personal injury takes a while to appear. Seek medical attention as soon as possible and whenever thereafter you feel pain, discomfort, numbing, or limitations.
Get as much information as you can about the truck driver, his or her employer, and the load that is on the truck, including addresses, permit numbers, licenses, and other identifying information. A lot of this information can easily be captured using the camera on your cellphone.
Get the name and affiliation of the law enforcement personnel on the scene. Who do they work for (police, sheriff, State Trooper, etc.)? Not only are they potential witnesses but we will want to get a copy of the accident report that is prepared.
Get the name and contact information of any and all potential witnesses, including not only eyewitnesses of the accident but also the name and companies or affiliations of wrecker personnel, responding fire departments, ambulances, and rescue or EMTs. Again, a photo of their driver’s license is ideal.
Make notes of any statements made by the truck driver and any other witnesses. You can also record these on your phone.
Get photos of all vehicles involved and those of any witnesses or others on the scene. Include photos of the license plates and any company names and permit or license numbers, including the loads and trailers.
Get photos and videos of the scene, including all identifying information related to the location (such as nearby signs or mile markers) and the condition of the roadway.
Be mindful of what you say to the truck driver. Things which we routinely say such as “it’s okay”, “It wasn’t your fault,” or “I’m fine” can come back to haunt you when it isn’t what you really meant or when you later learn facts that clearly show that the truck driver was at fault or that you do have an injury caused by or made worse by the accident. At the same time, don’t make any angry outbursts or accusations. Leave that to us in the proper setting.
Don’t sign any documents which may be presented to you by anyone other than law enforcement personnel (and then if you have any questions, ask), and don’t give any statements (again other than requested by law enforcement personnel, and again feel free to call us to help). Let us review any documents before you sign them and we can handle any company that requests a statement from you so that your rights are protected.
Contact us. We can begin our investigation as soon as possible, before valuable information is lost or destroyed, and can be there for you during all of the confusing times that you may face after a serious truck accident.
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The law firm of Petway, French & Ford, LLP, represents clients throughout Alabama, including Birmingham, Anniston, Montgomery, Mobile,
Huntsville, Tuscaloosa and Gadsden.
We offer a FREE CONSULTATION.
Call us at 205.977.9798 or
toll-free at 888.871.0303.